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Power is restored for thousands of PG&E customers after car crash in northern SLO County

Power outage affected thousands of PG&E customers
Car crash lead to power outages in Santa Margarita
Business in Santa Margarita reacts to power outage
Posted at 7:16 PM, Sep 10, 2021

Erin Inglish was left without power for eight hours on Thursday, which prompted her to rent a generator and close down her business, Caliwala Market and Kitchen in Santa Margarita.

“It’s not just about cost, it’s about being reliable as a business,” said Inglish. “If you say you’re going to be open, you’d like to be open; if you tell an employee they're going to have hours to work, you want to make sure you can follow through with that.”

More than 2,000 PG&E customers were left without electricity after a vehicle crashed into a power pole near Highway 58 and Pozo Road. The incident occurred on Thursday, Sept. 10 at around 11 a.m.

CAL FIRE SLO reported the driver suffered minor injuries.

“PG&E is required to take additional steps to further the potential, to reduce the possibility of equipment-sparked wildfires,” explained Mark Mesesan, a spokesperson for PG&E.

Due to hot weather conditions in a fire-prone area, PG&E had to inspect the power lines meticulously before restoring power.

“We do it during daylight hours. We have people in a helicopter looking for any problems, down wires, broken components, burn marks,” added Mesesan.

The outages caused disruptions for people mostly in the Santa Margarita and Pozo areas.

“It’s been a struggle to work from home, to keep our computers going, our WIFI going,” said Lainie Amaral.

This mom was also concerned for her baby.

“It means you’re worried about your breast milk stash going bad,” added Amaral.

This time around, there weren’t major losses for Inglish, but it’s a constant concern.

Inglish said that whenever there’s an outage, staff at Caliwala Market and Kitchen keep a close eye on thermometers to make sure fruits and vegetables remain fresh. However, if electricity is out for too long, certain products will have to be thrown away.

“Meats, cheeses, dairy, eggs, products like that you have to monitor your time and temperature,” said Inglish.

Power was restored to all affected customers by noon on Friday.

A separate outage on Thursday affected nearly 1,000 customers west of Highway 101 between Lake Nacimiento and Templeton. It also required PG&E crews to inspect the entire circuit before electricity could be safely restored.

PG&E asks customers to be prepared because these thorough inspections could lead to more frequent and potentially longer outages which they say is a step to prevent wildfires.

For more information about planned outages, you can visit www.pge.com